Congratulations to the winners of Ms. JD Public Service Summer Scholarships!

Ms. JD is pleased to announce the inaugural recipients of its Public Service Summer Scholarship. Selected from nearly 200 applicants nationwide, the recipients and honorable mentions demonstrate extraordinary commitment to promoting women in the law through public service careers.

Summer 2007

Heather AquinoHeather Aquino is a 2L at St. John's University School of Law in Jamaica, New York. She was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and is a class of 2000 graduate of Somerville High School in Somerville, New Jersey. This summer she is a legal intern for the United States Navy Office of the Judge Advocate General at Earle Naval Weapons Station, New Jersey. Ms. Aquino is pursuing a career with the J.A.G. Corps.

Read Ms. Aquino's scholarship-winning essay,
My Road Is My Own.

Megan Suzanne BrownMegan Suzanne Brown is entering her third year at the City University of New York Law School. Ms. Brown is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in Women's Studies and Urban Studies. Currently, she works as a summer associate at New York Legal Assistance Group with the Domestic Violence Clinical Center. Ms. Brown serves as co-chair of the Violence Against Women Committee of the New York State Coalition for Women Prisoners and as an emergency room rape crisis advocate with the St. Vincent's Hospital Rape Crisis Program. She grew up in Bexley, Ohio, and currently resides in Manhattan. Ms. Brown is grateful to the women who have mentored her throughout her public interest career thus far. She hopes to become a mentor for women in the future.

Read Ms. Brown's scholarship-winning essay,
The Silent Woman.

Carol SimpsonCarol Simpson is a rising fourth-year evening student at the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University. She lives in Lewisville, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. She is spending her summer as a legal intern for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, in Austin. Throughout law school she has had two full-time jobs. Because she is an older-than-average law student, she has devoted a lot of her law school social time with a group called OWLS--Older and Wiser Law Students. Ms. Simpson explains, "I attended law school with the idea that I would concentrate in intellectual property, but after spending 25+ years working in public education, I'm not interested in the partnership race, and need some way to get some good out of my legal education. Public interest is 'where it's at' when you believe that you need to give back to the society that has so generously allowed you to study law. And the clients are so grateful."

Read Ms. Simpson's scholarship-winning essay,
Gender Gap or Generation Gap?

Summer 2007

Melanie BlackMelanie Black is a rising 2L at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she hopes to focus on international human rights law. She is originally from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, but has been fortunate to live, work and study around the world in Osaka, Geneva, and London. Her interest in international issues and human rights drew her to the London School of Economics (LSE) where last year she received her Master’s of Science in Government-Global Politics. In her master’s thesis, she focused on debate surrounding the adoption of the French law which bans Muslim girls from wearing headscarves in schools. Ms. Black has worked as a legal intern with the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) at the former UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva and the Kurdish Human Rights Project (KHRP) in London. This summer she is a legal intern with the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) in Budapest. Ms. Black looks forward to working to alleviate the plight of the Roma in Europe.

Ms. DorantesMs. Dorantes is a rising 3L at the University of Illinois College of Law. A Chicago native, she has lived in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois since 1999, having completed her bachelor’s degree at the U. of I. in 2003. During the school year, she clerks at a distinguished Urbana law firm under the supervision of a civil litigator. This summer, she is serving as a Coles Fellow at the Illinois Human Rights Commission, the state tribunal for complaints of civil rights violations under the Illinois Human Rights Act. Her main interest is civil litigation, specifically employment law and discrimination under Title VII and the ADA. Her long-term goals include working with a civil rights organization such as the Southern Poverty Law Center. Upon graduation, Ms. Dorantes will take the Illinois Bar Exam. Whether she chooses to stay in Champaign-Urbana or return to Chicago, she hopes to begin her legal career with a small-to-medium sized law firm.

Lena GraberLena Graber grew up in Wilson, Wyoming, where she spent most of her time tap dancing and playing word games. Deeply involved in performing arts and comedy all through her education and college years at Wesleyan University, she has since lost her sense of humor and joined the legal profession. She is President of the Feminist Forum at George Washington University Law School, and she occasionally blogs on Ms. JD at odd hours of the night. The only lawyer in her family, Ms. Graber came to law school with motley work experience in international development via micro-credit, publishing and editing, tap dance teaching, immigration law, and small business recycling. She hopes to pursue a career in rule of law development, human rights, or immigration. This summer she is working for the Legal Resources Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, an impact litigation and legal aid clinic dedicated to achieving substantive equality for all people in South Africa. From her office in Gandhi Square, Ms. Graber points out to the United States that "in South Africa the Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of: race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, color, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth. So there can be a lot to learn from developing countries."

Donna PaluchDonna Paluch is a 3L at Loyola University College of Law-New Orleans, where she is a candidate on the Loyola Law Review. She is a native of Chicago, Illinois, and plans to return to the Windy City upon graduation, to pursue a career in public interest law. Last summer Ms. Paluch interned with the Innocence Project of New Orleans. This summer she is working as a legal intern at the Center for Equal Justice, as well as assisting her living hero, Professor William Quigley, with case research. Ms. Paluch is the Vice President of her law school’s chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and serves as an NLG Legal Observer.

Mel Sullivan

Mel Sullivan is a native of New Jersey, currently attending Boston University School of Law. For summer 2007, she is interning for the Honorable Amy P. Chambers of Middlesex County Superior Court, Chancery Division.

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